By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The Munford Lady Cougars have endured a few changes since last season.
Head Coach Steve Poindexter has a new-look lineup featuring mostly underclassmen. Another change to the rotation came in early December before a visit to Millington. The Lady Cougars were able to win the contest on Dec. 14 in the William Osteen Gymnasium 53-32.
Munford left the court victors but still a few games under .500. Fast forward to the rematch with the Millington Lady Trojans Friday night in the Munford High School Gymnasium. The Lady Cougars used a boost from senior Camryn Bruce hitting four early three-pointers to prevail 54-17.
The win over the Lady Trojans added to the solid stretch for the Lady Cougars since the Christmas season.
“It went really well,” Poindexter noted. “A lot of growth. This the first team we played twice since we’ve made a few adjustment. Like I asked them, ‘Do you think we’re a better team than we were Dec. 14?’ They said, ‘Absolutely.’ In this game right here, it was almost a 30-point swing.
“We scored over 10 points more,” he added. “Then we held them to probably 15 less. If you put that all together, that’s a pretty big swing. I think they’re buying into what we need to be successful. In order for us to be successful, we’ve got to come in and work. They’re doing that. They’re coachable.”
The Lady Cougars jumped ahead 18-7 after one quarter. Bruce had 14 of those points hitting four triples in total. Mary Richardson added the other two buckets.
Bruce started the second quarter with an old-fashion three-pointer. Her three-point play made the score 21-7. After Taylor Payne hit a bucket for the Lady Trojans, Bruce shut down Millington’s attempt of gaining momentum with another triple to make the score 24-9.
The first half ended with Munford receiving a three-pointer from Shelby Kendrick to make the tally 31-10.
Maiya Reed took over the third quarter offensively for the Lady Cougars. The sophomore point guard scored 6 of her 13 points in the period.
Other Lady Cougars in double figures were Richardson with 10 and Bruce with a game-high 21 points.
“I asked them this, ‘Do you want to win? Or do you want to almost win?’” Poindexter said. “The expectation outside of our circle might not be very high. No one expects us to win a lot or be very good or compete for another district championship.
“I just asked them are you going to be satisfied with almost winning?” he continued. “Or are you going to win? If you want to win you’ve got to come in here everyday and work your tails off. You’ve got to focus on doing the little things. It’s a decision they make every day.”
Munford had been the queen of District 13-3A in recent years. Poindexter is preaching to his players that the run doesn’t have to stop this season.
“My expectations are always going to be high,” he said. “That’s the only way you can reach a championship level. You’ve got to have high expectations.”
Poindexter said the win over the rival Lady Trojans proves to him his team is heading in the right direction.
“I think in the past three weeks we’ve come a long way,” he said. “We’re 5-1 in our last six games. The first time we played Millington, we were 3-6. We’re 8-7 now. There’s definitely progress. You’ve got to contribute some of this to the increase in the chemistry they have.
“Once again your attitude has to be open to team over me,” Poindexter concluded. “It’s all about the team. The more you have with that mentality on the team of it’s team over me, then the faster your chemistry grows.”